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Archive for the ‘E.coli O157:H7’ Category

Calif Massive Food Recall

Posted by feww on February 14, 2010

Calif meat company recalls another 5 million lbs of beef, veal

The latest recall by the company brings its total recall to 5.8 million lbs*, USDA said.

*[The equivalent of about 94 million burgers!]

Huntington Meat Packing Inc. of Montebello, California, first recalled 864,000 lbs of beef on January 18, suspecting E.coli contamination. They have now expanded the initial recall because the beef and veal products did not follow the company’s food safety procedures, USDA said.

“The products are adulterated because the company made the products under unsanitary conditions failing to take the steps it had determined were necessary to produce safe products,” the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) reported.

The boxes of suspect meat bear “EST. 17967” ID number marked within the USDA inspection label and were produced between January 22, 2009, and January 4, 2010. All of The boxes were reportedly shipped to distribution centers, restaurants, and hotels within the state of California.

The recall was expanded based on evidence collected in  with assistance from FSIS, USDA said.

An ongoing criminal investigation by the Office of the Inspector General has uncovered evidence indicating that the food safety records of the company were unreliable, USDA reported.


A colorized version of PHIL 7137 depicting a highly magnified scanning electron micrographic (SEM) view of a dividing Escherichia coli bacteria, clearly displaying the point at which the bacteria’s cell wall was dividing; Magnification 21674x.

Escherichia coli is a Gram-negative bacterium that normally colonizes the digestive tract of most warm-blooded animals, including human beings. E. coli are facultative in nature, which means that they can adapt to their environments, switching between aerobic, and anaerobic metabolic growth depending environmental stresses. One strain of E. coli, O157:H7, causes an estimated 73,000 cases of infection, and 61 deaths in the United States each year. Infection often leads to bloody diarrhea, and occasionally to kidney failure. Most illness has been associated with eating undercooked, contaminated ground beef. Person-to-person contact in families and child care centers is also an important mode of transmission. Infection can also occur after drinking raw milk and after swimming in or drinking sewage-contaminated water. Content Providers: CDC/ Evangeline Sowers, Janice Haney Carr. Photo Date: 2005. Photo Credit: Janice Haney Carr

What is Escherichia coli?

Escherichia coli (abbreviated as E. coli) are a large and diverse group of bacteria. Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, others can make you sick. Some kinds of E. coli can cause diarrhea, while others cause urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, and other illnesses. Still other kinds of E. coli are used as markers for water contamination—so you might hear about E. coli being found in drinking water, which are not themselves harmful, but indicate the water is contaminated. It does get a bit confusing—even to microbiologists.

What are Shiga toxin-producing E. coli?

Some kinds of E. coli cause disease by making a toxin called Shiga toxin. The bacteria that make these toxins are called “Shiga toxin-producing” E. coli, or STEC for short. You might hear them called verocytotoxic E. coli (VTEC) or enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC); these all refer generally to the same group of bacteria. The most commonly identified STEC in North America is E. coli O157:H7 (often shortened to E. coli O157 or even just “O157”). When you hear news reports about outbreaks of “E. coli” infections, they are usually talking about E. coli O157. (Source: CDC.)

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Beef Recall in Six States

Posted by feww on December 27, 2009

Oklahoma firm recalls 112 tons of beef products in six states

Following an outbreak of E. coli, National Steak and Poultry of Owasso, Oklahoma, said it was recalling 248,000 lbs (112,000 kg) of beef products in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, South Dakota  and Washington state.

The company said it was recalling the meat products voluntarily and as a precautionary measure because it thought some of its beef products might be linked to a series of E. coli outbreaks in those states.

Although the company refused to confirm any contamination had occurred at its production facilities, it said they “will err on the side of being cautious” by recalling the products.

“This is the first recall in our company’s nearly 30-year history,” the firm said in a recorded message on a consumer helpline.

National Steak and Poultry of Owasso package frozen beef and poultry, marinated beef and poultry products as well as fully cooked meats.

Ecoli bacteria
An image of E.coli bacteria provided by the USDA. The bacteria can cause diarrhea, dehydration, kidney failure and death.The Agriculture Department, which oversees meat safety in the US, said it concluded  “there is an association between the fresh ground beef products and illnesses in Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts,” after a cluster of food-borne illnesses in New England was reported, and a New Hampshire resident had died consuming ground beef that may have been infected with the deadly E. coli bacteria. More images

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a physician.

SAFE PREPARATION OF FRESH AND FROZEN GROUND BEEF

From: USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline

  • Wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry. Wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot, soapy water. Immediately clean spills.
  • Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other food that will not be cooked. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry and egg products and cooked foods.
  • Consumers should only eat ground beef or ground beef patties that have been cooked to a safe internal temperature of 160° F, whether prepared from fresh or frozen raw meat products.
  • Color is NOT a reliable indicator that ground beef or ground beef patties have been cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria such as E. coli O157:H7.
  • The only way to be sure ground beef is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature.
  • Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase or one hour if temperatures exceed 90° F. Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking

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Posted in E coli outbreak, E.coli O157:H7, food safety, Foodborne Illness, tainted beef | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

E. coli in Beef May Have Killed Two

Posted by feww on November 3, 2009

Another outbreak of E. coli bacteria in ground beef sickens 28 people with two deaths suspected

New York Firm Forced to Recall about 250 Metric Tons (546,000 lbs) of Ground Beef Products Due To Possible E. coli O157:H7 Contamination

Ecoli bacteria
An image of E.coli bacteria provided by the USDA. The bacteria can cause diarrhea, dehydration, kidney failure and death.The Agriculture Department, which oversees meat safety in the US, said it concluded  “there is an association between the fresh ground beef products and illnesses in Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts,” after a cluster of food-borne illnesses in New England was reported, and a New Hampshire resident had died consuming ground beef that may have been infected with the deadly E. coli bacteria. More images

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  25 of those sickened  were in the Northeast, with 18 of them living in the six New England states. It’s believed that a common strain of E. coli bacteria was responsible for the infections, but tests are being carried out to eliminate other causes.

One of the two deaths  in New Hampshire was linked to the ground beef that was distributed by Fairbank Farms of Ashville, New York, State officials said. The second death in the Albany area from possible E. coli O157:H7 infection was being investigated, the New York State Health Department reported.

The following information is mirrored from the USDA site:

Fairbank Farms, an Ashville, NY, establishment, is recalling approximately 545,699 pounds of fresh ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

FSIS became aware of the problem during the course of an investigation of a cluster of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses. Working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state health and agriculture departments, FSIS determined that there is an association between the fresh ground beef products subject to recall and illnesses in Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts. FSIS is continuing to work with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Connecticut Department of Public Health, other state health and agriculture departments and the CDC on the investigation. Anyone with signs or symptoms of foodborne illness should consult a physician.

The products subject to recall include: [View Labels, PDF Only]

For product list click here: Fairbanks Farms Food Feast

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a physician.

SAFE PREPARATION OF FRESH AND FROZEN GROUND BEEF

From: USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline

  • Wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry. Wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot, soapy water. Immediately clean spills.
  • Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other food that will not be cooked. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry and egg products and cooked foods.
  • Consumers should only eat ground beef or ground beef patties that have been cooked to a safe internal temperature of 160° F, whether prepared from fresh or frozen raw meat products.
  • Color is NOT a reliable indicator that ground beef or ground beef patties have been cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria such as E. coli O157:H7.
  • The only way to be sure ground beef is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature.
  • Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase or one hour if temperatures exceed 90° F. Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking

Related Links:

Posted in E coli outbreak, E.coli O157:H7, Foodborne Illness, Foodborne infections, foodbourne infections, tainted beef | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »